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Hallow Be Thy Lane

In over 60 towns and cities in the UK learner drivers are waiting more than five months to take their practical driving test, according to DVSA data accessed by AA Driving School via a Freedom of Information Request. After revealing that learners face booking delays at 88% of test centres, the AA Driving School is calling for more transparency in the availability of practical driving tests.

Driving tests were suspended during the Covid-19 lockdowns and delays to the return of practical tests resulted in a backlog of learners waiting to book. The average waiting time for a practical car driving test at the end of November 2022 peaked at five-and-a-half-months (24 weeks) and this month, Transport minister Richard Holden MP confirmed the five-month-long delay remains in some areas.

Camilla Benitz, AA Driving School Managing Director said: “The backlog data we obtained shows learners across the country face months of delays. There is no easy way for candidates to check availability at multiple test centres without checking each one manually. A better system could save many weeks of waiting as our data showed wait times varied between some local test centres by as much as three months. We’d like to see test centre wait time data published regularly by the DVSA to help ensure there is full accountability in getting back to pre-pandemic waiting times.”

Three Worst Areas in England for Practical Driving Test Waiting Times

  1. Gloucestershire at 22.5 weeks
  2. Essex at 23.3 weeks
  3. Somerset at 21.3 weeks

Three Worst Areas in Scotland for Practical Driving Test Waiting Times

  1. Shetland at 24 weeks
  2. East Dunbartonshire at 24 weeks
  3. South Lanarkshire at 24 weeks

Three Worst Areas in Wales for Practical Driving Test Waiting Times

  1. Newport at 21 weeks
  2. Merthyr Tydfil at 18 weeks
  3. Monmouthshire at 16 weeks

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